Hong Kong consumer confidence has significantly decreased to become 3rd lowest point since 3rd quarter of 2008

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The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) of the cross-strait region, Hong Kong and Macau for the third quarter of 2020 announced on 9 October 2020 that the overall Hong Kong CCI was 57.4, down 13.3% quarter on quarter (QoQ), but up 8.7% year on year (YoY).

The result of this quarter is the third lowest point since this index was introduced in the third quarter of 2008, which is close to the second lowest record of 55.3 measured in the first quarter of 2020. All the sub-indices are measured at 71 or lower, showing that Hong Kong consumers lack confidence regarding these aspects.

Significant decreases in consumer confidence in five main aspects

There were significant decreases in confidence levels in five main aspects: Property Purchases, Stock Investments, Standard of Living, Employment, and Commodity Prices.

Among these five aspects, Hong Kong residents have had the lowest confidence in purchasing properties. The overall sub-index for property purchases is 46.5 (Table 1), which experiences a huge decrease of 20.8% compared with the last quarter. The result for current property purchases is 45.8 (Table 2), and significantly decreasing by 19.9% when compared with the last quarter. Citizens’ confidence in property purchases for the coming three months is 47.0 (Table 2), considerably decreasing by 21.3% from the last quarter. Compared to the last quarter, this sub-index has dropped and it is still the aspect in which Hong Kong consumers have the lowest confidence in.


The overall sub-index for stock investment is 53.1 (Table 1), with a significant decrease of 18.3% when compared with the previous quarter. The result for the present situation is 52.2 (Table 2), decreasing significantly by 17.8% from the previous quarter. The confidence level for the coming three months is 53.7 (Table 2), with a significant decrease of 18.6% compared to the former quarter. This indicates that consumers’ confidence level in this aspect has significantly decreased. It is the aspect with the second largest decline.


The overall sub-index of living standard stands at 71.0 (Table 1). It has significantly decreased by 13.2% from the previous quarter, but has experienced a significant YOY increase of 18.5%. It is still the aspect in which Hong Kong people have more confidence in. The result for the current situation is 77.5 (Table 2), significantly decreasing by 12.2% compared with the last quarter. The confidence index in living standards for the coming three months is 66.7 (Table 2), significantly decreasing by 13.8% when compared with the last quarter. The absolute value of the future sub-index is low, which indicates that local consumers have not recovered their confidence.

The overall sub-index of employment is 52.9 (Table 1), a significant decrease of 12.3% compared with the result of last quarter and a slight YOY decline of 2.8%. The result for present employment situation is 45.5 (Table 2), slightly declining by 3.6% on the previous quarter. The index for employment confidence in the coming three months is 57.8 (Table 2), with a significant decrease of 16.2% when compared with the previous quarter. The absolute value of the sub-index is low, showing that consumers continue to worry about employment.


The overall commodity price sub-index is 62.0 (Table 1), a slight YOY increase of 2.6%. When compared to the last quarter, however, it shows a significant decrease of 11.6%. The current sub-index of commodity prices is 60.2 (Table 2), with a decrease of 6.7% when compared with the former quarter. The result for the coming three months is 63.2 (Table 2), decreasing significantly by 14.5% from the last quarter. This indicates that Hong Kong consumers’ confidence level in this aspect has dropped and is still weak.


Consumer confidence in Economic Development also declines

The sub-index of Hong Kong residents towards economic development is 58.7 (Table 1), with a slight decrease of 3.9% when compared with the previous quarter but a significant YOY increase of 10.3%. The result for the present economic situation is 51.4 (Table 2), with a slight increase of 6.6% compared to the last quarter in this aspect. The result for the economic confidence in the coming three months is 63.6 (Table 2), with a slight decline of 8.8% compared with the previous quarter. The absolute value of the sub-index is low, and demonstrates that Hong Kong residents are worried about the economic situation.


The overall result shows a significant decline compared with the result of the last quarter due to the decrease in consumer confidence in all aspects. Among all aspects, the sub-indices for Property Purchases, Stock Investments, and Standard of Living have significantly decreased by more than 13%. The result of this quarter is the third lowest point since this index was introduced in the third quarter of 2008, which is close to the second lowest record of 55.3 measured in the first quarter of 2020. This indicates that Hong Kong consumers’ confidence level is still very low. The situation is possibly caused by the continuous diffusion of the pandemic in the past months.

Media enquiries:

Dr Geoffrey Tso Kwok-fai
Associate Head, Associate Professor and Director of the Statistical Consulting Unit
Department of Management Sciences           
City University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 8568 or (852) 9020 9996

Mr Hu Yijian
Research assistant
Department of Management Sciences
City University of Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 3442 8657 or (852) 6990 6084

Appendix A: Notes for Data Collection

City University of Hong Kong is responsible for the data collection for the captioned investigation. The survey for the CCI in third quarter of 2020 was conducted by telephone interview from 7 to 30 September 2020. A random sampling procedure was adopted, and 1,013 interviews were conducted with local residents aged 18 or above. The survey results have a 95% confidence level, and the sampling error is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points.

Appendix B: Notes for the Chinese Consumer Confidence Index

The Chinese Consumer Confidence Index was launched in the first quarter of 2009 and has been released on a quarterly basis since then. The overall consumer confidence score is an integrated index, measuring consumer sentiment about economic development, employment, commodity prices, standard of living, property purchases and stock investments. It reflects the confidence level of consumers in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. The index is jointly compiled by Capital University of Economics and Business, Central University of Finance and Economics, City University of Hong Kong, Macau University of Science and Technology, and Taipei Medical University.

The Chinese Consumer Confidence Index uses a scale of 0 to 200, with 0 representing “no confidence” and 200 representing “complete confidence”. If the index is below 100, it suggests consumers “lack confidence”, while if it is above 100, it suggests “relative confidence”.

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